Nut-Free Paleo Pizza, 2 ways

My freshman year of college my dorm mates and I spent one Halloween night standing in line at the neighborhood's hottest slicery for an hour before getting to place our orders. This particular pizzeria was not even that good, just your standard greasy quick-service college locale. But after standing in line and then waiting patiently for the kitchen to get to my order (surrounded, the entire time of course, by the smell of melted cheese and toasted garlic),  that slice of pizza was the one of the best slices of pizza I'd ever had. The most memorable, at the very least. (Side note: I just checked to see if slicery was a word. It's not. But apparently Sabrina the Teenage Witch used it, and since I watched that show religiously in the nineties, I'm sticking with it). 

I'm generally all for focusing on what you can eat when following a whole food lifestyle, not what you can't. I'm too busy scouring the produce isle to even miss the stuff in the other isles of the grocery store (except for the bulk section -- I really like the bulk section). Every once in a while though, I get these ideas that I can't shake. Like BBQ chicken pizza, with cilantro and red onions. Like caramelized leeks with bacon. On pizza. And add some artichokes because those never hurt. 

Once something like that pops into my head, there's really no shaking it. I stood in line for an hour for pizza once, I'll take the challenge now. In fact, it'll take that challenge, and raise you one: a Paleo pizza crust that actually holds it's shape (no cauliflower) and contains no nuts

Why no nuts? I really like nuts. All the time. But after throwing down a good number of Costco-sized bags of almonds and pistachios, I felt nutted-out. Not in that I don't want to eat anymore nuts sort of way, but in that Ugh, eating this many nuts can't be healthy sort of way. Adding nuts to my dinner was the last thing I needed. 

So what did I use to delivery the caramelized leeks and bacon and BBQ chicken to my plate and eventually my mouth? Green plantains. While this recipes doesn't really make a "dough," (the result is more of a batter), the resulting crust is is thin and bready but sturdy enough to hold all of your toppings up. And totally nut free. Ding! 

Next time I'll make twice as much. This batch made 2 personal-sized pizzas, so we had no leftovers and I couldn't test how the the crust faired in a "leftover pizza for breakfast" situation. 

See? It's all about what you can have. And pizza, this pizza, is in. 

For the Pizza Crust:

1 green plantain

1 garlic clove

1 egg

2 tablespoons coconut flour

1/2 cup coconut milk

Pinch salt

Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Toppings and sauces of choice (my BBQ Chicken and Caramelized Leek and Bacon combos are below)

 

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. 

2. Blend all of the crust ingredient together. I used a blender, you could also try mashing it all together with a fork. The batter should be thick, with no clumps. Use a spatula to spread the batter out on a piece of parchment or baking mat (such as a sil-pat). Spread the batter out in a circle, in a 1/4-inch layer. Make it as even as possible to ensure even cooking. 

3. Place the crust in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until you can lift up the edge of the crust and see that the bottom is browning. Remove the crusts from the oven and (carefully--it's hot!) add your toppings of choice.

4. Return the pizza back to the oven for 5-10 more minutes, until your toppings are warm, and your cheese--if you choose to use it- is gooey. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, slice and serve! 

 

For the BBQ Chicken Pizza:

1 crust

1 cup shredded chicken

1/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce (more or less depending on your tastes)

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup grass-fed cheddar cheese, grated (if you tolerate dairy)

 

Spread a layer of sauce on the crust. Top with shredded chicken. 

Sprinkle with cheese, and top with red onions. 

Return pizza to the oven for 5-10 minutes, then remove from heat and sprinkle with cilantro.

 

For the Caramelized Leek and Bacon Pizza

1 pizza crust

1 medium leek, white only, wash & sliced thin

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil

2 strips bacon, cooked and chopped

1/2 cup grass-fed cheddar cheese, grated (if you tolerate dairy)

1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, canned

 

Sautee in the leeks in a skillet with the coconut oil over medium-low heat. Stir them occasionally, allowing them to turn golden. They will begin to caramelize after 10-15 minutes. Once they are soft and golden all around, remove them from heat. 

Drizzle olive oil over crust and spread with a spatula. You don't need much, but it enhances the flavor. 

Spread the cooked leeks over the crust, and top with bacon. Sprinkle cheese over pizza, and distribute the artichokes evenly around the pizza. 

Return the pizza to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until toppings are heated or cheese is gooey. 

Remove from heat, allow to cool for a few minutes, slice and serve!